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The World Doesn't End Because the Doctor Dances

The Identity of John Hurt’s Doctor Who Character May Have Been Confirmed


Ubiquitous actor John Hurt appeared in the most recent season finale of Doctor Who, building up to his appearance in the 50th Anniversary Special this coming November. His role was already quite intriguing, but now a popular fan theory about where Hurt’s character fits in the chronology of the series may have been confirmed. There may be spoilers ahead for those not caught up or those who simply want to remain oblivious before the 50th anniversary special airs.

The dramatic finale moment, “introducing John Hurt as The Doctor,” left plenty of room open for speculation as to how Hurt’s disgraced Doctor, who apparently doesn’t deserve the title, fit in with the rest of the regenerations.  Many fans hypothesized, based on the eleventh Doctor’s claim that Hurt did not deserve the title of Doctor, that Hurt’s character might be the Doctor who was involved in the devastating events of The Time War, which led to the entire Time Lord race, except the Doctor, being removed from time. After all, Hurt’s character does claim that “what I did, I did in the name of peace and sanity.”  According to the Doctor Who costume designer, Howard Burden, this speculation is correct. Via The Telegraph:

There was a gap between Paul McGann playing the Doctor and Christopher Eccleston, when we didn’t see a regeneration, and John Hurt will fit into that gap. He is a past Doctor, not a future Doctor.

It seems that the costume design is where the information is, as many fans considered a photo of Hurt in costume, complete with a very Eccleston-like leather jacket, on the 50th anniversary set, to be another significant clue to his Doctor’s identity.  According to Burden, Hurt’s character is a “dark Doctor,” and would technically be the Doctor’s 9th incarnation, making Eccleston the 10th, David Tennant the 11th, and Matt Smith the 12th. It may be that Hurt’s character does not qualify as “the Doctor” in name, so perhaps we can continue to enjoy the convenience of Tennant being Ten without confusion. In any case, this news also indicates, if it was in doubt before, that new Doctor Who isn’t taking pains to follow the 13 incarnation limit that has been thrown around as a cap for the Doctor’s regeneration. Inserting a previously unknown incarnation into the history of the show makes sense as a dramatic twist for the 50th Anniversary, but it also indicates that, with the show’s popularity on the rise, Steven Moffat and company will continue to play with the history of the show.

(via Digital Spy)

Previously in Doctor Who

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  • http://bytestemplar.com/ Fortyseven

    Didn’t River infuse him with a bunch of regenerations, or something, when she saved his life that one time? Been a while since I saw the ep in question, but I seem to remember thinking what she did patched that hole up nicely. Very much prepared to be wrong, mind you. ;)

  • BaldBombshell

    The regens were less a physical issue than one mandated by society. The Master had exhausted all of his decades ago, but was given more.

  • Anonymous

    There’s been any number of theories about the regeneration cycle, not the least of which being that he received an additional set of regenerations as part of being named Lord President of Gallifrey. There was also the Elixir of Life from the Sisterhood of Karn. Not to mention that it’s possible the limitation of regenerations is something set up by the time lords themselves, so with none of them around, there’s no limit. Remember, The Master was at the end of his cycle in the original series, but regenerated twice more in the new series, and the only thing keeping him from a third was he code against it.
    The Doctor said on Sarah Jane Adventures that he has an infinite number of regenerations. He may have been joking, or hand-waving off the question, but the door is open.
    The other possibility is that Hurt’s Doctor only existed a short time, inside that period of extra energy that allows a Time Lord to “re-regenerate”, as Ten did to a hand in Christmas Invasion, and River did to bullet wounds in Let’s Kill Hitler. Also, don’t forget that Ten started another regeneration cycle, and stopped it once his wounds were healed, the additional energy being funneled into the aforementioned hand.
    In short, any number of ways around it, even before the ones they come up with.
    It’s fairly obvious that when the 13th regeneration comes round, it’ll be a big plotline to address it, but I’m fairly confident it’s already got an answer in Moffat’s head, be it one the fans have come up with, or an all new one.

  • Anonymous

    She used up all her potential regeneration cycles (or so it was inferred; she may only have used up her residual energy for that regeneration) to burn the poison out of his system. It likely all went to that repair, and not to credit him more regenerations, but again, who knows what they’ll use.

  • Anonymous

    Did he actually receive them, or were they only a demand that was never met (In Five Doctors, yes?) Considering he still had to take over another body (as he did to Tremas) to come back in Eight’s movie, I took that to be that he didn’t get them.

  • Anonymous

    So would this retroactively make Christopher Eccleston into 10 and Smith into 12?

  • Glitchy

    Has anyone addressed the whole Valeyard thing yet? With Matt Smith leaving, the question does arise, unless I completely missed this being dealt with (highly possible).

  • Anonymous

    Technically Hurt appears to be the ninth regeneration but he is NOT the ninth Doctor because he did things under a different name.

    This makes perfect sense because

  • Bear TheDad

    Makes perfect sense to me. He’s the black sheep, like Joran Dax in Deep Space Nine. Better forgotten about, and not regarded by the others as truly deserving of the name.

  • Anonymous

    Apart from the regen limit, the numbering was more of a meta way to distinguish between actors. I don’t think it’s ever been addressed in the show, so this is entirely for fan pragmatism.

    (Also revenge on the people who go on a corrective spiel about Hurt any time someone refers to Smith as “Eleven”.)

  • Anonymous

    It’s a show about time travel. That pretty much gives the writers the ability to infinitely mess with the the story. Frankly, I can’t believe this hasn’t been done before. I think inserting Hurt’s doctor into the timeline is awesome. It’s opening up a crucial, unexplored portion of the Doctor’s life.

  • Anonymous

    I assumed it was just a reference to Trial of a Time Lord, but it’s entirely possible that it will come up. Moffat is pretty fond of continuity gags, after all.

  • Anonymous

    You could still call Eccelstone 9 and so on since there is really no definition of whether the number refers to the regeneration cycle or actor. It didn’t need to be defined since they always coincided. You could call Hurt the 12th Doctor and leave everyone else’s previously “assigned” number.

  • Anonymous

    If it is to distinguish the actors then Hurt has a legitimate claim to being Twelve. As in he is the twelfth actor to portray the role regardless of when in canon he was supposed to have existed.

  • Jason Atkins

    What bugs me about this if it’s true is the Valeyard thing.

    We already know from canon that there is an “evil” Doctor, who is either the 12th or 13th incarnation. Nine, Ten, and Eleven have shown a Doctor who has become increasingly dark as he evolves towards that. If we suddenly find out that the Doctor has ANOTHER evil incarnation, it just doesn’t fit. The Doctor hasn’t learned his lesson from what he did as John Hurt, so he’s becoming evil again.

    What I’m hoping is that John Hurt is the Valeyard/12th Doctor AND is the Doctor from the Time War. If the Time Lords recruited the Valeyard to help them in the 80s, and if they brought back the Master to help fight the Time War they might have brought in the Valeyard for help, too. The Doctor surviving the Time War could have been a way to avoid a time paradox (the Doctor needs to survive, so that he can eventually regenerate into the Valeyard and do the stuff), and the similarities between John Hurt’s outfit and Christopher Eccleston’s outfit can be explained away as Nine wearing it to “remind” him of what he’s eventually going to become.

    Then, in the 50th and/or at Christmas, we’d see Eleven regenerate into John Hurt, and then John Hurt regenerate into whoever the new Doctor is. That new Doctor then has to deal with John Hurt’s actions as if they’ve just done them, rather than it being something they did three or four lifetimes ago. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to sneak in surprise Paul McGann and Eccleston cameos (you can have a scene where John Hurt “saves” Paul McGann from the Time War, and then shortly after he regenerates into Eccleston and picks the leather jacket reminder outfit), which would turn the Anniversary into a surprise Five Doctors event.

    That would make the most coherent plot sense, I think. Though… perhaps coherent isn’t something I should expect from Moffat! :P

  • Robert Vary

    Why would this necessarily mess with the 13 incarnation limit? If we assume Hurt is the “true” 9th incarnation, making Smith the 12th incarnation, then Smith will regenerate into the 13th incarnation, and THAT Doctor is the one who would have to deal with the impending limit, right? Now, we may find at THAT point that they’ll either ignore or handwave away the limit….

  • WheelchairNinja

    Has anyone considered that Hurt may be an aged version of the Eighth Doctor? We never saw him regenerate into Nine, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility that that incarnation was around so long that he aged into an old man. At least that way the numbering wouldn’t be changed.

  • http://elisabethflaum.wordpress.com/ Elwyne

    If this were the case, I think it would be grossly unfair not to use Paul McGann. The man has already been cheated once.

  • Harrison Grey

    Isn’t “may be confirmed” an oxymoron?

  • Anonymous

    Uhhhh…… John Hurt said as much in an interview 2 months ago. He specifically said that his “Doctor” came between 8 and 9. I have no doubt that there will be an explanation that will save us from renumbering the last 3 Doctors. It is funny, though, that many people are proceeding on the idea that John Hurt’s character is not really the Doctor since it is assumed from Doctor 11′s speech that he didn’t call himself that. Why then does the bold onscreen credit say “John Hurt as The Doctor”?

    I’m not sure he’s the “Time War” Doctor since Eccleston, Tennant and Smith’s Doctors have all taken responsibility for those actions, so there’s no reason why Hurt’s Doctor would be stripped of the name “Doctor”.

  • Anonymous

    He didn’t receive them in “The Five Doctors” but he was resurrected by the Time Lords for the Time War and regenerated normally in “Utopia”. The 13 incarnations issue is a non-starter. It WILL be circumvented, if it hasn’t been already, by the fact that the Time Lords are no longer around to enforce the artificial cap on regenerations . It seems unlikely that Time Lords would naturally have exactly the same number of regenerations. They would probably vary just as human lifespans vary. Some might have 10 while others have 100. It’s been stated a few times in the classic series that regenerations are not always successful.

  • Parienve8137

    мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kkEj

    You could still call Eccelstone 9
    and so on since there is really no definition of whether the number
    refers to the regeneration cycle or actor. It didn’t need to be defined
    since they always coincided. You could call Hurt the 12th Doctor and
    leave everyone else’s previously “assigned” number.

  • Ian Conway

    So, you’d rather that the show ends because of some stupid piece of “canon”?!?! Yeah, youre right. Getting more Doctor Who TOTALLY sends me into a pit of rage. And I totally hate the showrunner who made the show more popular worldwide than it’s ever been in it’s entire history.Can you say spoiled fan?

  • Ian Conway

    John Hurt NEVER said that. Show me the quote!

  • Anonymous

    Since the past canon repeatedly messes with itself, I’m not really all that bothered…

  • totz the plaid

    Moffat’s writing is terrible in many ways.

    Popular =/= good.
    I don’t mind the show being popular, but I mind the WORST WRITING THE SERIES HAS EVER HAD being popular.

  • Anonymous

    Love and Monsters is the worst writing the series has had.

    Seriously, That’s my standard. No matter how hyperbolic people get about any Moffat episode. It’s never as bad as Love and Monsters.

  • Ian Conway

    Popular may not equal good(which i totally agree with…), but it does equal my favorite show of all time NOT getting cancelled. And while I was not bowled over by season 7B for the most part, I absolutely LOVED 7A, and The Name of the Doctor was absolutely my favorite episode of all time. I really don’t understand how you can say Moffat’s writing is terrible. Examples?

  • Ian Conway

    Have to disagree. I think Love and Monsters is amazing. It literally makes me cry every time I watch it. I understand it’s a Doctor-lite episode, and that pisses some people off, but I like that RTD had the guts to do something radically different, knowing he would probably piss off a large segment of the fanbase. He’s an artist, not a fanboy, and he should write whatever he is inspired to write. Then again, I also think The Lodger, Closing Time and Vincent and the Doctor are some of the best episodes of New-Who. I don’t care that they’re such big departures from the normal tone and tenor of the show. Actually, that’s why I like them so much. They have an emotional depth that the original series never even approached. I’ll take any of those episodes over “classic” style episodes like Nightmare in Silver or Cold War, both of which tried, and failed(in my opinion), to please all the fanboys and recapture that
    “classic” feel.

  • Anonymous

    Ah, but it’s all opinion, isn’t it? I didn’t mind Love and Monsters, it was a bit stupid but harmless fun, and Mark Warren and Shirley Henderson are always good value for money and I love seeing more of Rose’s mum.

    Whereas many, many Moffat episodes have made me want to punch innocent bystanders with rage.

  • Anonymous

    Ah, but it’s all opinion, isn’t it? I didn’t mind Love and Monsters, it was a bit stupid but harmless fun, and Mark Warren and Shirley Henderson are always good value for money and I love seeing more of Rose’s mum.

    Whereas many, many Moffat episodes have made me want to punch innocent bystanders with rage.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s more that for us Moffat-haters, it’s bad enough that he’s making the current show unwatchable for us, without him spoiling canon as well.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s more that for us Moffat-haters, it’s bad enough that he’s making the current show unwatchable for us, without him spoiling canon as well.

  • Travis

    Saw it coming, but it’s still incredibly dumb. Nine, Ten, and Eleven have never shied away from what they did during the Time War. Hell, Ten committed a couple genocides on his own.

    This would be so much more interesting if Doctor Hurt was the guy who came BEFORE the first Doctor.

  • totz the plaid

    I’m still working on my epic-length response to Ian above, but here’s one for you:

    “Journey’s End” started with an interesting concept, but fell apart. It shoved too many characters in, Davros’s plan didn’t make sense, and neither did the whole DoctorDonna thing. Also, way too much melodrama.

    “Voyage of the Damned” also had an interesting idea, but became way too cheesy and bogged down in its attempts at melodrama. Also, the whole Buckingham Palace bit was a terrible joke.

    “The End of Time” had some really solid ideas, but again, way too much melodrama. Also giving the Master superpowers was just dumb, as was the deus ex machina of Donna’s defense mechanism and the “Master Race” joke got dragged out far too long at the end of episode one. Also, the Time Lords having turned savage and war-like was a cool twist, but using the Master as a homing beacon/portal made absolutely no sense.

    Still better than the vast majority of Moffat’s dreck. (After the shit he’s pulled as showrunner, I can no longer give him full credit for the “Empty Child” two-parter. Someone must have ghost-rewritten parts of it!)

  • totz the plaid

    Also, there are other incredibly bad episodes during both RTD’s run and the classic series.

    “TimeFlight”, “The Daleks in Manhattan” two-parter, “Boom Town”, “Silver Nemesis”, “The Twin Dilemma” (though that’s more boring than anything), “The Gunfighters”, etc.

    It’s just that Moffat’s horribleness seeps into even the mostly good episodes during his time as showrunner, and the show’s been consistently pretty terrible for the past few seasons.

  • StenDarker

    Ha. I remember having that mentality. I was in with a sizable group who were out to get RTD because his was the “WORST WRITING THE SERIES HAS EVER HAD!” What really happened was everyone had caught on to his tropes, and we conflated being tired of those tropes with said tropes being inherently bad writing. I think the Moff should move on and let someone else take the reins, but his era was brilliant, in my opinion. Of course, my opinion is worth very little as an objective measurment of quality. And, I’m sorry to break this to you, so is yours.

  • http://teresajusino.wordpress.com/ Teresa Jusino

    Have you watched any Classic Who? “The Web Planet” is the worst writing Doctor Who ever had. If you think Moffat’s is the worst writing ever, you clearly haven’t watched any of the old series, because there’s TONS of bad writing there. :)

  • totz the plaid

    Oh… Take a seat, this is going to be a long one…

    #1: Blatant Misogyny

    “There’s this issue you’re not allowed to discuss: that women are needy. Men can go for longer, more happily, without women. That’s the truth. We don’t, as little boys, play at being married – we try to avoid it for as long as possible. Meanwhile women are out there hunting for husbands.”
    — Steven Moffat on Female Characters

    That not enough of an example for you? Try some more of his misogyny on for size:

    * In “Blink”, while stuck in the past, the Doctor shushes Martha when she complains about having to work to support him. Now, while you might find that okay at first glance, it’s horribly out-of-character for the Doctor who treats Martha with the utmost respect the rest of the time.

    * Also in “Blink”, Sally Sparrow out of nowhere falls for the guy who’s been following her around the entire episode for no apparent reason.

    * Again from “Blink” is this rather rapey exchange her friend Kathy has with the first person she meets after being sent back in time:
    Kathy: “Are you following me?”
    Ben: “Yeah.”
    Kathy: “Are you going to stop following me?”
    Ben: “I don’t think so.”
    If you don’t find that exchange creepy, I don’t know what’s wrong with you.
    …and then she goes ahead and marries the guy. Now granted, there’s a hell of a lot left unexplored about what she lives through in the past, but still…

    * A fourth thing from “Blink” is that Sally Sparrow gets shoved through the entire adventure by other peoples’ actions. She doesn’t get to make any real choices herself. Admittedly, that’s less blatant misogyny than weak writing when taken on its own, but in the context of the rest of Moffat’s writing, it definitely fits his problematic treatment of women.

    * His women tend to be weak, and have their lives completely revolve around men. Amy is a solid character at the start of her run as companion, but is very quickly reduced into focusing every single action to be about either Rory or the Doctor.

    * To add to the Doctor-obsessed nature of his female characters, don’t you find it creepy that…
    A) Amy met the Doctor as a small, impressionable child and grew up obsessively lusting over him, enough so that she’d try to cheat on Rory with him on the night before her wedding.
    B) River was literally brainwashed from birth to obsess over the Doctor and as soon as she fulfills her brainwashing to “kill” him, she’s instantly obsessively in love with him and that colors every single action she takes.
    C) Clara meets the Doctor at a young and impressionable age and as soon as she meets him as an adult, she’s all over him. Obsessive and flirty.

    Once is just a slightly creepy choice. Twice is bad, but three times shows a disturbing obsession with that sort of thing. Oh wait, almost forgot…

    D) Madame du Pompadour.

    …four times. Clearly he’s got some sick fetish for that concept. Either that or he’s read “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and is attempting to rip it off without the skill or the realization that the novel explicitly explores all the creepy and negative aspects of such a relationship, making it a very mixed bag for both Henry and Claire.

    * When his women aren’t entirely weak (case in point, River Song), they still need to be saved by the Doctor half of the time, and when they’re competent, it’s unbelievably so.

    * “Dinosaurs on a Space Ship” has Nefertiti being treated like an object for most of the episode with nobody, not even her, raising the objection that she’s a person, not a thing.
    This could be racism and not misogyny, though (or it could be both) since none of Moffat’s main characters are non-white.

    * Miss Evangilista from the “Library” two-parter can either be beautiful and stupid, or deformed and brilliant. The fact that the difference between the two is that the library misplaced a decimal point when it “saves” her implies that women can only be one or the other, and not both. Moffat’s writing as showrunner tends to bear that out as well.

    * Even the casting of Amy Pond was sexist as hell:
    “And I thought, ‘well she’s really good. It’s just a shame [the first woman they looked at]‘s so wee and dumpy…When she was about to come through to the auditions I nipped out for a minute and I saw Karen walking on the corridor towards me and I realised she was 5’11, slim and gorgeous and I thought ‘Oh, oh that’ll probably work’.”

    * Slightly off-topic, but Moffat’s got no respect for bisexual or asexual people either, claiming that it’s “boring” and that:
    “If [Sherlock] was asexual, there would be no tension in that, no fun in that – it’s someone who abstains who’s interesting.”
    While that’s about his other series, not Doctor Who, it’s still a very key point to how he thinks of non-heterosexual characters.

    * On the same tangent, the reason he doesn’t write bisexual people is:
    “We don’t acknowledge you on television cos you’re having FAR TOO MUCH FUN. You probably don’t even watch cos you’re so BUSY!!”
    …need I add anything to that?

    I could list other examples, but we should really move on to another point.

    If you need more: http://feministwhoniverse.tumblr.com/post/25598314408/steven-moffat-is-a-douchebag-the-masterlist

    Remain seated, because if you follow the links, you’ll be there for a while, too.

    #2: His characters are flat and two-dimensional.

    *This quote from iO9 (found here: http://io9.com/5022250/why-steven-moffat-isnt-all-that) covers the two-dimensionality of River Song’s first appearance (which pretty much covers her later appearances as well) and also notes the misogyny present in it:

    “To add to his litany of badly drawn, disappointing female characters, Moffat gave us River Song, an archaeologist from the Doctor’s future who not only knows everything about him, but to whom he’s also entrusted his precious sonic screwdriver. I’ll say one thing for ol’ Steven – apparently, he’s a great wingman. He loves to set the Doctor up with every eligible, eternally willing female who comes along. Song’s maddening smugness about her foreknowledge goes hand-in-hand with Moffat’s, whose script is blasting love and admiration for Song before the audience has even accepted her existence. She’s got no character; all we know is that someday she’s important to the Doctor and that she loves him to pieces – so much that she’s kept a detailed diary of every minute they’ve spent together. The idea that someone as empty as Song could actually be a romantic foil for the Doctor goes way beyond distasteful.”

    * In further discussion of River Song’s lack of character, this post (http://isitballs.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/steven-moffat-worst-thing-to-ever.html)boils her down to her only two traits: smug perfection and obsession over the Doctor:
    “Imagine what it would be like if you were just having a normal day, maybe sitting on the couch eating a muffin, when someone walked into your house, told you they were smarter than you, rearranged all your furniture, made you look stupid in front of your friends and then told you how shit you are at doing literally everything. Then, after all that, they tell you they’re in love with you.

    That’s what River Song is like and the idea that The Doctor is in love with her as well is the least believable plot point ever, and this is a show that featured farting aliens that get killed by vinegar.”

    * In this review of “Asylum of the Daleks”: http://guide.doctorwhonews.net/story.php?story=AsylumoftheDaleks&detail=reviews, Matt Hill gives us another major look at both Moffat’s misogyny (I know we’re beyond that point, officially, but it’s not going away…) and the hollowness of his characters:
    “Moffat’s “feisty” female characters all seem to
    speak in the same quickfire, gimmicky manner which grates ever so slightly to my ears. Whatever faults one might have attributed to Russell T. Davies’s series openers, he always sketched out convincing characters incredibly well. Even minor figures could take on a dense weight of realism. By contrast, many of Moffat’s characters carry an air of stylized unreality, something which I’d say has been true of Amy Pond in the past, and seems true yet again of the major new character here, thanks partly to things like the “chinboy” and “beaky” shtick.”

    * For more on Moffat’s utter lack of characterization for minor characters see “A Good Man Goes to War”, where the gay couple (I hate to call them that, but they never even get names) are just broad stereotypes and plot devices.

    * In “The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe”, you should absolutely care about the kids finding out about their father’s death, and the pain of their mother being widowed, as well as the joy at realizing that he was just pulled ahead to the future (as cheesy and melodramatic and kinda crappy as that twist is, it _should_ still tug at the heartstrings), but Moffat’s characters are hollow and he approved (and probably asked for) a vastly overwritten and overbearing score by Murray Gold. Gold has skill as a composer and musician, but his already notable tendency to go overboard during Davies’ run on the show has only gotten worse since Moffat took over. (You can count Gold’s scores as point #2.5 if you want since it’s been used to try to eke emotion out of us when it’s clear that the writing and characters can’t manage it themselves.)

    * His aforementioned comment that “asexuality is boring” is another proof that he cannot write solid characters. If you can’t make an asexual character interesting, it’s because you can’t make a _character_ interesting. Asexuality is only one aspect of an asexual person, and not only can that be used to build up their personality (admittedly, sticking them in awkward, potentially sexual situations to see how they’d react is a bit cliche, but it’s still a thing that can be done), but it also doesn’t have to be relevant to their situation!
    George R.R. Martin isn’t a woman but he writes well-rounded female characters, nor is he a cripple, a bastard or a dwarf, but when asked about how he writes them convincingly, he’ll point out that he just writes people. Moffat doesn’t even write people, he just writes cliches.

    I could add more to the subject, but if you follow the links, it’s pretty thoroughly covered.

    #3: Moffat Doesn’t Understand Sci-Fi

    * I’m going to start by quoting this (http://isitballs.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/steven-moffat-worst-thing-to-ever.html, which, frankly, you should read in full) again:
    “Science fiction, especially time travel based science fiction, requires a shitload of explanation for it to make any sense whatsoever. Moffat doesn’t really do that, like, ever. On top of that, he fails to recognize concepts of time travel as well, namely the idea of a time paradox and variations on that idea. I’m going to get really geeky for a second here so bear with me while I explain the idea of an information paradox. An information paradox is a case in which some information or in some cases objects, only exists because of the fact that it exists. A good example of this in Doctor Who is in the episode Lets Kill Hitler where Amy and Rory discover that the person they named their daughter after [is their] daughter. This is an idea that makes absolutely no sense seeing as the idea for that name came from itself, and thus can’t exist. This is like if a future version of you from two weeks from now came back in time and gave you a rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle and then in two weeks you came back to now and gave yourself that chicken, then the loop just kept going. That chicken came from nothing, therefore it can’t exist. Moffat has done this a number of times, notably in Blink and in Time Crash. Another big thing he has a problem with is blurring the line between science fiction and just straight up magic.”

    * In addition to that, he frequently ignores the well-established “Blinovich Limitation Effect” which states that if a person has physical contact with themselves from a different point in the timeline, it will result in catastrophic effects. This universal effect was on display in “The Three Doctors” when the Time Lords actually had to work to prevent it from resulting from them teaming up the Doctor’s 2nd and 3rd selves (the 1st was stuck in a time eddy), and again on display in several other stories such as “Day of the Daleks”, “The Mawdryn Undead”, and even as recently as “Father’s Day” and “Time Crash”. Hell, the Doctor even warns Amy and Rory about it in “The Hungry Earth”, but then the show blatantly ignores it in the “The Big Bang”, “A Christmas Carol” and the mini-episodes “Good Night” and “Space/Time”. Even “Blink” has problems with it, seeing as how the Doctor and Martha claim to have been to the Apollo 11 landing several times.

    * Speaking of “A Christmas Carol”, the plot doesn’t make sense if you think about it. It starts as an admittedly clever twist on the Dickens tale, but once Kazran’s personality has been changed by meeting his younger self, logically that should undo the whole dilemma that the episode’s built around.
    Not only that, but despite the cleverness of the concept, it breaks the #1 rule of Doctor Who: once the Doctor and his companions are in a situation, they physically cannot go back in time to prevent the situation. That’s been long-established, and has been explained by the Doctor on several occasions.

    * It’s not only true of his time travel, but everything he does with sci-fi is treated as magic. No explanations are given for any of it. Not for the wooden people in “The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe”, not for the sky-fish in “A Christmas Carol”, not for the kid’s powers in “Night Terrors” or the resetting of the universe in the “Pandorica” two-parter, or why taking a sledgehammer to the Weeping Angels wouldn’t work (or how they eat time or how they infect images, or anything about the Statue of Liberty, which ignores his own rules about Weeping Angel physiology anyway), or how the universe magically revolves around Amy, River and Clara (granted, RTD had the same problem with Rose as the “Bad Wolf” and the whole Donna Noble thing, so that bit isn’t just Moffat), or anything to do with the crack in space!

    * River being born a Time Lady just because she was conceived on the TARDIS makes no sense, and breaks with established canon. To become a Time Lord or Lady, you need to view into the Time Vortex on Gallifrey after studying at Pyridion Academy otherwise your mind will definitely break. Even those who have passed their courses aren’t guaranteed to walk away from that experience unscathed. Having River be born that way just stinks of self-insertion wish-fulfillment fantasies on the part of Moffat, which also adds to her whole two-dimensionality. (Granted, Rose looking into the vortex and becoming the “Bad Wolf” was similarly illogical, but at least that nearly destroyed her.)

    * His whole obsession with the 51st Century is weird. It had been mentioned by Doctor Who before in “The Talons of Weng-Chiang”, and the year 50,000 as the time of “the Great Breakout” where humanity expanded throughout the stars in “The Invisible Enemy”, but starting with establishing Captain Jack Harkness as coming from there, it’s popped up in most of the Moffat-written episodes!
    - “The Empty Child” two-parter [and several Torchwood episodes] as part of Jack’s background.
    - In the same story, it’s when the Doctor destroyed the factories of Villengard and replaced them with a banana grove.
    - “The Girl in the Fireplace” as where the S.S. Madame du Pompadour came from.
    - The “Library” two-parter as the time period the story’s set in.
    - “The Time of Angels” two-parter is set in this centrury, as are all of River Song’s appearances in the prison.

    * Moffat also gleefully approved that whole Silurian two-parter that was just a less-polished ripoff of “The Silurians”.

    * Also, how the hell did the Daleks teleport the TARDIS onto their ship in “Asylum of the Daleks” and if they have that sort of technology, why have they not used it before? Clearly Moffat didn’t think that through when commissioning or approving that script.

    * Oswin magically wiping all records of the Doctor’s existence is equally nonsensical.

    This whole subject segues directly into my next major point…

    #4: Moffat Constantly Has People Act Out of Character:

    * Moffat also approved the nonsensical idea of the Daleks taking other shapes and turning humans into Daleks in “Asylum of the Daleks” which goes against everything the Daleks have ever stood for.

    * In both “A Good Man Goes to War” and “The Power of Three”, the Doctor stands idly by as innocents are slaughtered by the dozens. While the Doctor has killed enemies before when it has proven necessary, with the exception of a PTSD-like reaction by the 9th Doctor in “Dalek”, he always waits until it has become necessary to take that step. Blowing up a whole fleet of Cybermen just to prove a point is not something he would ever do. Rory? Yes. The Doctor? No. He’d also chastise Rory for going that far.
    As for “The Power of Three”, they never unload the other patients from the Shakri ship, just Brian. They do save the people back down on Earth, but all the stolen patients? They get blown up.
    Hell, back to “A Good Man Goes to War” for a second, his whole “going to war” against the Headless Monks is 100% out of character.

    * Similar to the above, in “Day of the Moon” when River shoots all those Silence, the Doctor says that he shouldn’t like that, but he does. Again, this is Moffat bending characterization past the breaking point to shove the River/Doctor relationship into our faces.

    * The Doctor shushing Martha in “Blink” is another example.

    Fortunately, Moffat hasn’t taken many people’s other toys out to play with them, so the characterization problems are less frequent than the other problems with his writing/the writing in the scripts he approves than other issues, though no less glaring.

    On to our last point…

    #5: Plot Holes and Inconsistencies

    * “A Christmas Carol” is a giant one.

    * The Statue of Liberty being a Weeping Angel and “tiptoeing” through Manhattan without being seen is another.

    * The inconsistency with the Doctor and apples is a minor one. (Can’t stand ‘em in “The Eleventh Hour”, yet casually eats one in “The God Complex”.)

    * Every single thing he doesn’t explain in his sci-fi is a plot hole, quite frankly. (And don’t claim his writing is “too complex” for me. I was easily able to follow the plot of “Inception” on first viewing, keeping track of who everyone is in Game of Thrones is a cinch, and I’ve read several novels at once without losing the plot in any of them. His stories fake complexity to try to hide the fact that they don’t make a damn lick of sense.)

    Oh, and one last reason I can’t stand Steven Moffat, this has nothing to do with his writing, it’s just a display of him being an asshole:

    * He told a dyslexic follower on twitter to spell-check their tweets and never apologized for it.

    This Tumblr rant adds more points: http://worthyourweightinfanfiction.tumblr.com/post/49613348648/whats-wrong-with-stephen-moffat-rebloggable-by

    I could add more, but I’ve been working on this for well over an hour and I’m frankly sick of talking about it. This is seven pages of text, and easily double that if you read everything linked. If that’s not enough to open your eyes, I doubt if anything is.

  • totz the plaid

    Oh… Take a seat, this is going to be a long one…

    #1: Blatant Misogyny

    “There’s this issue you’re not allowed to discuss: that women are needy. Men can go for longer, more happily, without women. That’s the truth. We don’t, as little boys, play at being married – we try to avoid it for as long as possible. Meanwhile women are out there hunting for husbands.”
    — Steven Moffat on Female Characters

    That not enough of an example for you? Try some more of his misogyny on for size:

    * In “Blink”, while stuck in the past, the Doctor shushes Martha when she complains about having to work to support him. Now, while you might find that okay at first glance, it’s horribly out-of-character for the Doctor who treats Martha with the utmost respect the rest of the time.

    * Also in “Blink”, Sally Sparrow out of nowhere falls for the guy who’s been following her around the entire episode for no apparent reason.

    * Again from “Blink” is this rather rapey exchange her friend Kathy has with the first person she meets after being sent back in time:
    Kathy: “Are you following me?”
    Ben: “Yeah.”
    Kathy: “Are you going to stop following me?”
    Ben: “I don’t think so.”
    If you don’t find that exchange creepy, I don’t know what’s wrong with you.
    …and then she goes ahead and marries the guy. Now granted, there’s a hell of a lot left unexplored about what she lives through in the past, but still…

    * A fourth thing from “Blink” is that Sally Sparrow gets shoved through the entire adventure by other peoples’ actions. She doesn’t get to make any real choices herself. Admittedly, that’s less blatant misogyny than weak writing when taken on its own, but in the context of the rest of Moffat’s writing, it definitely fits his problematic treatment of women.

    * His women tend to be weak, and have their lives completely revolve around men. Amy is a solid character at the start of her run as companion, but is very quickly reduced into focusing every single action to be about either Rory or the Doctor.

    * To add to the Doctor-obsessed nature of his female characters, don’t you find it creepy that…
    A) Amy met the Doctor as a small, impressionable child and grew up obsessively lusting over him, enough so that she’d try to cheat on Rory with him on the night before her wedding.
    B) River was literally brainwashed from birth to obsess over the Doctor and as soon as she fulfills her brainwashing to “kill” him, she’s instantly obsessively in love with him and that colors every single action she takes.
    C) Clara meets the Doctor at a young and impressionable age and as soon as she meets him as an adult, she’s all over him. Obsessive and flirty.

    Once is just a slightly creepy choice. Twice is bad, but three times shows a disturbing obsession with that sort of thing. Oh wait, almost forgot…

    D) Madame du Pompadour.

    …four times. Clearly he’s got some sick fetish for that concept. Either that or he’s read “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and is attempting to rip it off without the skill or the realization that the novel explicitly explores all the creepy and negative aspects of such a relationship, making it a very mixed bag for both Henry and Claire.

    * When his women aren’t entirely weak (case in point, River Song), they still need to be saved by the Doctor half of the time, and when they’re competent, it’s unbelievably so.

    * “Dinosaurs on a Space Ship” has Nefertiti being treated like an object for most of the episode with nobody, not even her, raising the objection that she’s a person, not a thing.
    This could be racism and not misogyny, though (or it could be both) since none of Moffat’s main characters are non-white.

    * Miss Evangilista from the “Library” two-parter can either be beautiful and stupid, or deformed and brilliant. The fact that the difference between the two is that the library misplaced a decimal point when it “saves” her implies that women can only be one or the other, and not both. Moffat’s writing as showrunner tends to bear that out as well.

    * Even the casting of Amy Pond was sexist as hell:
    “And I thought, ‘well she’s really good. It’s just a shame [the first woman they looked at]‘s so wee and dumpy…When she was about to come through to the auditions I nipped out for a minute and I saw Karen walking on the corridor towards me and I realised she was 5’11, slim and gorgeous and I thought ‘Oh, oh that’ll probably work’.”

    * Slightly off-topic, but Moffat’s got no respect for bisexual or asexual people either, claiming that it’s “boring” and that:
    “If [Sherlock] was asexual, there would be no tension in that, no fun in that – it’s someone who abstains who’s interesting.”
    While that’s about his other series, not Doctor Who, it’s still a very key point to how he thinks of non-heterosexual characters.

    * On the same tangent, the reason he doesn’t write bisexual people is:
    “We don’t acknowledge you on television cos you’re having FAR TOO MUCH FUN. You probably don’t even watch cos you’re so BUSY!!”
    …need I add anything to that?

    I could list other examples, but we should really move on to another point.

    If you need more: http://feministwhoniverse.tumblr.com/post/25598314408/steven-moffat-is-a-douchebag-the-masterlist

    Remain seated, because if you follow the links, you’ll be there for a while, too.

    #2: His characters are flat and two-dimensional.

    *This quote from iO9 (found here: http://io9.com/5022250/why-steven-moffat-isnt-all-that) covers the two-dimensionality of River Song’s first appearance (which pretty much covers her later appearances as well) and also notes the misogyny present in it:

    “To add to his litany of badly drawn, disappointing female characters, Moffat gave us River Song, an archaeologist from the Doctor’s future who not only knows everything about him, but to whom he’s also entrusted his precious sonic screwdriver. I’ll say one thing for ol’ Steven – apparently, he’s a great wingman. He loves to set the Doctor up with every eligible, eternally willing female who comes along. Song’s maddening smugness about her foreknowledge goes hand-in-hand with Moffat’s, whose script is blasting love and admiration for Song before the audience has even accepted her existence. She’s got no character; all we know is that someday she’s important to the Doctor and that she loves him to pieces – so much that she’s kept a detailed diary of every minute they’ve spent together. The idea that someone as empty as Song could actually be a romantic foil for the Doctor goes way beyond distasteful.”

    * In further discussion of River Song’s lack of character, this post (http://isitballs.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/steven-moffat-worst-thing-to-ever.html)boils her down to her only two traits: smug perfection and obsession over the Doctor:
    “Imagine what it would be like if you were just having a normal day, maybe sitting on the couch eating a muffin, when someone walked into your house, told you they were smarter than you, rearranged all your furniture, made you look stupid in front of your friends and then told you how shit you are at doing literally everything. Then, after all that, they tell you they’re in love with you.

    That’s what River Song is like and the idea that The Doctor is in love with her as well is the least believable plot point ever, and this is a show that featured farting aliens that get killed by vinegar.”

    * In this review of “Asylum of the Daleks”: http://guide.doctorwhonews.net/story.php?story=AsylumoftheDaleks&detail=reviews, Matt Hill gives us another major look at both Moffat’s misogyny (I know we’re beyond that point, officially, but it’s not going away…) and the hollowness of his characters:
    “Moffat’s “feisty” female characters all seem to
    speak in the same quickfire, gimmicky manner which grates ever so slightly to my ears. Whatever faults one might have attributed to Russell T. Davies’s series openers, he always sketched out convincing characters incredibly well. Even minor figures could take on a dense weight of realism. By contrast, many of Moffat’s characters carry an air of stylized unreality, something which I’d say has been true of Amy Pond in the past, and seems true yet again of the major new character here, thanks partly to things like the “chinboy” and “beaky” shtick.”

    * For more on Moffat’s utter lack of characterization for minor characters see “A Good Man Goes to War”, where the gay couple (I hate to call them that, but they never even get names) are just broad stereotypes and plot devices.

    * In “The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe”, you should absolutely care about the kids finding out about their father’s death, and the pain of their mother being widowed, as well as the joy at realizing that he was just pulled ahead to the future (as cheesy and melodramatic and kinda crappy as that twist is, it _should_ still tug at the heartstrings), but Moffat’s characters are hollow and he approved (and probably asked for) a vastly overwritten and overbearing score by Murray Gold. Gold has skill as a composer and musician, but his already notable tendency to go overboard during Davies’ run on the show has only gotten worse since Moffat took over. (You can count Gold’s scores as point #2.5 if you want since it’s been used to try to eke emotion out of us when it’s clear that the writing and characters can’t manage it themselves.)

    * His aforementioned comment that “asexuality is boring” is another proof that he cannot write solid characters. If you can’t make an asexual character interesting, it’s because you can’t make a _character_ interesting. Asexuality is only one aspect of an asexual person, and not only can that be used to build up their personality (admittedly, sticking them in awkward, potentially sexual situations to see how they’d react is a bit cliche, but it’s still a thing that can be done), but it also doesn’t have to be relevant to their situation!
    George R.R. Martin isn’t a woman but he writes well-rounded female characters, nor is he a cripple, a bastard or a dwarf, but when asked about how he writes them convincingly, he’ll point out that he just writes people. Moffat doesn’t even write people, he just writes cliches.

    I could add more to the subject, but if you follow the links, it’s pretty thoroughly covered.

    #3: Moffat Doesn’t Understand Sci-Fi

    * I’m going to start by quoting this (http://isitballs.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/steven-moffat-worst-thing-to-ever.html, which, frankly, you should read in full) again:
    “Science fiction, especially time travel based science fiction, requires a shitload of explanation for it to make any sense whatsoever. Moffat doesn’t really do that, like, ever. On top of that, he fails to recognize concepts of time travel as well, namely the idea of a time paradox and variations on that idea. I’m going to get really geeky for a second here so bear with me while I explain the idea of an information paradox. An information paradox is a case in which some information or in some cases objects, only exists because of the fact that it exists. A good example of this in Doctor Who is in the episode Lets Kill Hitler where Amy and Rory discover that the person they named their daughter after [is their] daughter. This is an idea that makes absolutely no sense seeing as the idea for that name came from itself, and thus can’t exist. This is like if a future version of you from two weeks from now came back in time and gave you a rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle and then in two weeks you came back to now and gave yourself that chicken, then the loop just kept going. That chicken came from nothing, therefore it can’t exist. Moffat has done this a number of times, notably in Blink and in Time Crash. Another big thing he has a problem with is blurring the line between science fiction and just straight up magic.”

    * In addition to that, he frequently ignores the well-established “Blinovich Limitation Effect” which states that if a person has physical contact with themselves from a different point in the timeline, it will result in catastrophic effects. This universal effect was on display in “The Three Doctors” when the Time Lords actually had to work to prevent it from resulting from them teaming up the Doctor’s 2nd and 3rd selves (the 1st was stuck in a time eddy), and again on display in several other stories such as “Day of the Daleks”, “The Mawdryn Undead”, and even as recently as “Father’s Day” and “Time Crash”. Hell, the Doctor even warns Amy and Rory about it in “The Hungry Earth”, but then the show blatantly ignores it in the “The Big Bang”, “A Christmas Carol” and the mini-episodes “Good Night” and “Space/Time”. Even “Blink” has problems with it, seeing as how the Doctor and Martha claim to have been to the Apollo 11 landing several times.

    * Speaking of “A Christmas Carol”, the plot doesn’t make sense if you think about it. It starts as an admittedly clever twist on the Dickens tale, but once Kazran’s personality has been changed by meeting his younger self, logically that should undo the whole dilemma that the episode’s built around.
    Not only that, but despite the cleverness of the concept, it breaks the #1 rule of Doctor Who: once the Doctor and his companions are in a situation, they physically cannot go back in time to prevent the situation. That’s been long-established, and has been explained by the Doctor on several occasions.

    * It’s not only true of his time travel, but everything he does with sci-fi is treated as magic. No explanations are given for any of it. Not for the wooden people in “The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe”, not for the sky-fish in “A Christmas Carol”, not for the kid’s powers in “Night Terrors” or the resetting of the universe in the “Pandorica” two-parter, or why taking a sledgehammer to the Weeping Angels wouldn’t work (or how they eat time or how they infect images, or anything about the Statue of Liberty, which ignores his own rules about Weeping Angel physiology anyway), or how the universe magically revolves around Amy, River and Clara (granted, RTD had the same problem with Rose as the “Bad Wolf” and the whole Donna Noble thing, so that bit isn’t just Moffat), or anything to do with the crack in space!

    * River being born a Time Lady just because she was conceived on the TARDIS makes no sense, and breaks with established canon. To become a Time Lord or Lady, you need to view into the Time Vortex on Gallifrey after studying at Pyridion Academy otherwise your mind will definitely break. Even those who have passed their courses aren’t guaranteed to walk away from that experience unscathed. Having River be born that way just stinks of self-insertion wish-fulfillment fantasies on the part of Moffat, which also adds to her whole two-dimensionality. (Granted, Rose looking into the vortex and becoming the “Bad Wolf” was similarly illogical, but at least that nearly destroyed her.)

    * His whole obsession with the 51st Century is weird. It had been mentioned by Doctor Who before in “The Talons of Weng-Chiang”, and the year 50,000 as the time of “the Great Breakout” where humanity expanded throughout the stars in “The Invisible Enemy”, but starting with establishing Captain Jack Harkness as coming from there, it’s popped up in most of the Moffat-written episodes!
    - “The Empty Child” two-parter [and several Torchwood episodes] as part of Jack’s background.
    - In the same story, it’s when the Doctor destroyed the factories of Villengard and replaced them with a banana grove.
    - “The Girl in the Fireplace” as where the S.S. Madame du Pompadour came from.
    - The “Library” two-parter as the time period the story’s set in.
    - “The Time of Angels” two-parter is set in this centrury, as are all of River Song’s appearances in the prison.

    * Moffat also gleefully approved that whole Silurian two-parter that was just a less-polished ripoff of “The Silurians”.

    * Also, how the hell did the Daleks teleport the TARDIS onto their ship in “Asylum of the Daleks” and if they have that sort of technology, why have they not used it before? Clearly Moffat didn’t think that through when commissioning or approving that script.

    * Oswin magically wiping all records of the Doctor’s existence is equally nonsensical.

    This whole subject segues directly into my next major point…

    #4: Moffat Constantly Has People Act Out of Character:

    * Moffat also approved the nonsensical idea of the Daleks taking other shapes and turning humans into Daleks in “Asylum of the Daleks” which goes against everything the Daleks have ever stood for.

    * In both “A Good Man Goes to War” and “The Power of Three”, the Doctor stands idly by as innocents are slaughtered by the dozens. While the Doctor has killed enemies before when it has proven necessary, with the exception of a PTSD-like reaction by the 9th Doctor in “Dalek”, he always waits until it has become necessary to take that step. Blowing up a whole fleet of Cybermen just to prove a point is not something he would ever do. Rory? Yes. The Doctor? No. He’d also chastise Rory for going that far.
    As for “The Power of Three”, they never unload the other patients from the Shakri ship, just Brian. They do save the people back down on Earth, but all the stolen patients? They get blown up.
    Hell, back to “A Good Man Goes to War” for a second, his whole “going to war” against the Headless Monks is 100% out of character.

    * Similar to the above, in “Day of the Moon” when River shoots all those Silence, the Doctor says that he shouldn’t like that, but he does. Again, this is Moffat bending characterization past the breaking point to shove the River/Doctor relationship into our faces.

    * The Doctor shushing Martha in “Blink” is another example.

    Fortunately, Moffat hasn’t taken many people’s other toys out to play with them, so the characterization problems are less frequent than the other problems with his writing/the writing in the scripts he approves than other issues, though no less glaring.

    On to our last point…

    #5: Plot Holes and Inconsistencies

    * “A Christmas Carol” is a giant one.

    * The Statue of Liberty being a Weeping Angel and “tiptoeing” through Manhattan without being seen is another.

    * The inconsistency with the Doctor and apples is a minor one. (Can’t stand ‘em in “The Eleventh Hour”, yet casually eats one in “The God Complex”.)

    * Every single thing he doesn’t explain in his sci-fi is a plot hole, quite frankly. (And don’t claim his writing is “too complex” for me. I was easily able to follow the plot of “Inception” on first viewing, keeping track of who everyone is in Game of Thrones is a cinch, and I’ve read several novels at once without losing the plot in any of them. His stories fake complexity to try to hide the fact that they don’t make a damn lick of sense.)

    Oh, and one last reason I can’t stand Steven Moffat, this has nothing to do with his writing, it’s just a display of him being an asshole:

    * He told a dyslexic follower on twitter to spell-check their tweets and never apologized for it.

    This Tumblr rant adds more points: http://worthyourweightinfanfiction.tumblr.com/post/49613348648/whats-wrong-with-stephen-moffat-rebloggable-by

    I could add more, but I’ve been working on this for well over an hour and I’m frankly sick of talking about it. This is seven pages of text, and easily double that if you read everything linked. If that’s not enough to open your eyes, I doubt if anything is.

  • totz the plaid

    Easy solution set up back in “Bad Wolf”: Absorbing the Time Energy out of Rose reset his regeneration count and/or gave him more regenerations.

    In that way Tennant would be #10 and #1, Smith would be #11 and #2, etc.

  • totz the plaid

    …you’re responding to a comment where I name several Classic Who stories as being terrible and asking if I realize that there were bad stories in Classic Who.

    Think about that for a minute.

  • totz the plaid

    “Love and Monsters” is a love-it-or-hate-it episode generally. I think it’s okay, but nothing to write home about. Harmless fluff.

    If you think that’s the worst story in Doctor Who history, though, you’ve never seen “Silver Nemesis”.

    That’s still the show’s nadir, and makes even less sense than Moffat’s dreck.

  • Anonymous

    Not even the kid who designed the monster part of Love and Monsters liked Love and Monsters. Seriously.

    And I was thinking of new-who only.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nuuni.nuunani Nuuni Nuunani

    Well to be more specific they said ‘between the 12th and 13th’

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2INBe_qZFo

    And given that through the new series Doctor who we have seen him produce a cloned daughter and a dopple of the 10th, Valeyard could be a literal manifestation. Doctor who has done far stranger in the last 50 years.

  • Roberta

    I am confused, at which point do we shake our fists and yell “Moffat!”? Is it now?

  • Kris Bethea

    Timelords were not “removed from time”. Not like things were removed from time as the Crack in the Wall did.
    The Timelords were killed during the Timewar, (likely murdered by the not-Doctor, 8.5, John Hurt). They were not removed from all time because people still knew what the Timelords were. The Trees of Cheem knew of the Timelords and of course the “bad guys” remembered the Timelords. :)

  • fengban346

    tinyurl.com/l3cselt….

  • sj4iy

    This isn’t “past canon”…it’s completely unknown canon and it makes perfect sense. How DARE he answer a bunch of questions that everyone wants to know, the HORROR.

  • sj4iy

    “Aliens of London” two parter tops the list for worst ever crap for me. It was painful to watch…and then they made it twice as long. Ugh.

  • Emily Hill

    WHAT NO THAT’S STUPID CAUSE THAT MEANS ELEVEN IS TWELVE AND TEN IS ELEVEN AND NINE IS TEN (head explodes)

  • Frank Connell

    Everything can be explained with one throw away line. “THE DOCTOR LIES”.

  • Tia Nadiezja

    Yeah… I watched An Unearthly Child. All the way through. I’m sorry, but NOTHING the show puts out now holds a candle to the earliest stuff in terms of bad writing.

  • totz the plaid

    Thank you!

    I mean, it’s implied that looking into the Time Vortex and absorbing energy from it is what turns Gallifreyans into Time Lords and grants them the regenerative ability in the first place, so…

  • totz the plaid

    “Some of your supposed “plot holes” are relatively explained.”

    …and I’ll explain why you’re wrong. Point by point.

    “In “The Big Bang,” existence is being snuffed out throughout the Universe, so little Amy isn’t *really* her as she is in the timeline that is meant to happen.“

    Wrong. There’s still only one universe at that point, and little Amy is still the Amy that grew up to become the Doctor’s companion and end up in the Pandorica.

    Problems caused by time travel cannot be explained away using the very time travel that caused them.

    “Also, Clara only saw the Doctor in slight passing. He had no more affect on her than a stranger that happens to be at the same Walmart as you on several occasions.”

    Clara saw the Doctor various times across space and time randomly. Your simile isn’t logical. It’s more like running into the same stranger in Tokyo, Des Moines, Liverpool, Rio de Janeiro, Capetown, and Jakarta over the course of several decades. It’s so unlikely as to be
    nearly impossible and is thus bad writing.

    “And the explanation for that technology in “Asylum of the Daleks”: the doctor hadn’t yet encountered them since they invented it. That’s the interesting thing about time, as it goes on things change.” Plus, they had just
    rebuilt an empire after Victory of the Daleks. Sooo, maybe new tech came with the new empire? Quite possible.“

    Tech that doesn’t fit their modus operandi.

    “And Clara erased memory of the Doctor from the Daleks minds because she was, at the time, A DALEK. MEANING SHE HAD ACCESS TO, YOU KNOW, DALEK STUFF, like all their memory banks.”

    Daleks aren’t robots, they’re beings inside armor. It wouldn’t affect the memories of the beings themselves. It’s like you’re claiming that because I have access to the internet, I can delete memories from your brain. Nonsense.

    “And the events in “The Angels Take Manhattan” end up never having happened.”

    Not only is that wrong, as they very much did happen, otherwise Amy and Rory would be fine and living in England, instead of dead in the past in New York. That doesn’t explain how they supposedly could have happened in the first place. It still doesn’t work.

    “About the apples–the Doctor lies. Also they’re always a bit off after regeneration.”

    More like bad writing and a lack of attention to detail paid by the writers.

    “And your opinions of River seem to be just that–opinions. Things don’t need to be shown explicitly on the screen to be a part of the character. Obviously if she’s an archeologist, she’s brilliant enough to go through school for that and for her help to be sought as expert (why she’s at the library in the first place). Once can easily gather that an aspect of her character is that.”

    Sorry, but the writing of her breaks various literary rules like “Show, Don’t Tell” and “Informed Attributes”. Try again.

    “And it is a fascinating bit of plot for someone important in a characters future to meet them after…already meeting them. That is why River is important to the doctor.”

    Except that her importance to him was forced upon her via plot points that we saw later and were poorly written as well as misogynistic.

    “Like if Donna popped back to the beginning of 10′s timeline.”

    …Donna’s plot didn’t make sense either, as I already pointed out.

    “Also, if Moffat was such a dreadful writer, he wouldn’t have helped write 4 of the 6 Doctor Who episodes that won a Hugo award, or the many many other episodes that were nominated.”

    Logical fallacy. You need to use logic in order to debate. Instead you used the “Bandwagon” fallacy. Also “Appeal to Authority” and “False Cause”.

    “Stop watching Doctor Who and put your trollish hate elsewhere.”

    …really? You should know that “Ad Hominem” is another fallacy! You also used the fallacy “Tu Quoque”! Also, I’m using logic and examples, actual debate techniques.

    Try educating yourself on writing techniques and logical arguments. I’m no less a fan of Doctor Who as a whole just because I can find the many problems present in it, implying otherwise would be the “No True Scotsman…” fallacy.

  • Travis

    Depends on the promise.

  • Gabriel Jae Gideon

    The concept of there being a cap on Doctor’s reincarnations should and does hold solid. The concept that the Doctor’s self holds other past and future titles does not interfere with this concept. Remember in the season finale the mention that the Doctor would have other names before the end, the Beast, the Valeyard… that directly confirms that there are other incarnations of the being himself while not necessarily being the Doctor, which denotes specific mores that he holds to, an honor code of sorts. I refuse to see this plot twist as a divergence from canon continuum. It is a thickening of an already present plot for the show, an adding of depth for continuity and a breath of fresh air to bring in new fans as well as give old fans something exciting and new to love.

  • Christopher

    http://digitaljournal.com/article/298884
    READ. The Doctor can regenerate hundreds of times.

  • Christopher

    http://digitaljournal.com/article/298884 This is a better way of looking at it.

  • Anonymous

    Just watched the reveal – who the hell is this guy???

  • Nora Dennis

    I realize this is coming in really late, but I recently found this blog, liked this article as it’s something similar to what I’ve thought. But I disagree that having more than 13 Regerations is ignoring Canon. In fact, my argument is that Both RTD and Moffat have taken pains to write INTO canon that there is a possibility that Time Lords and the Doctor specifically can have more than 13.

    The classic series established that 13 is the default number of lives possible when a Gallifreyan becomes a Time Lord – aka when he or she is given the power to Regenerate – Artron Energy injected somehow into a Time Lord’s being, (perhaps through the looms?). Incidentally, the classic series also established several times that this was something that was granted, not something inherent that every Gallifreyan is born with – and that IS a point that both RTD and Moffat seem to have tried to quietly retcon.

    However, the Master has had more than 13. I’m not talking about when he took over Tremas’ body or that other poor unfortunate later in the TV Movie. When the Master took over Tremas’ body he was at the very end of his 12th regeneration – no more left. That’s why he had to steal another body, as all good fans of the classic show know.

    We find out in the new series that he was granted 13 more new regenerations during the Time War, if he would help in the fight. At which time he agreed, received them, then presumably promptly went AWOL.

    So, we know it can happen. The Time Lords have the technology to grant more than 13 lives if they want to. In fact, we also know they’ve done it to others – Rassilon in “Utopia/The Sound of Drums/Last of the Time Lords”. We know that Rassilon was one of the 3 founders of Time Lord Civilization, eons ago. His name has never been used as an honorific title for the President in the past – and as there have been female Presidents that would seem pretty dumb anyway. The Time Lord we saw was very likely the actual Rassilon, brought back to guide his people through the worst war since the first Time War against the Vampires (which he also led his people in).

    We also know there is the Matrix, the database in which the mind and personality of every single Time Lord who ever lived is stored upon their death (assuming they died on Gallifrey, anyway). And the Citadel in the Capitol holds the Bio-Data Extract (genetic code) of every Time Lord who ever lived as well.

    So. Who is to say, that in the battle to resist the Daleks, Davros and their allies, (assuming they had any – not sure since creatures like the Nightmare Child are mentioned in regards to that war), who have the ability to multiply like roaches, the Time Lords didn’t revive every single Time Lord in the history of the Class, (yes it is a class albeit one that some lucky few can graduate university into, also established several times over in the classic series), since Rassilon, Omega and the Other?

    Also, who is to say that once one of them fell for good, they weren’t just brought back with another 13 lives if at all possible – and even if they were disintegrated completely maybe just re-loomed from their Bio-Data and Matrix info all over again? Thus compensating their fighing force and perpetuating a never-ending war so that neither side could hope to win through sheer strength of numbers?

    Okay, so there’s that case that’s now been added to canon. But even if you feel that one is too shaky and based off of too many assumptions – the Master’s extra lives and Rassilon’s existence in modern day non-withstanding – then we have River healing the Doctor, and in the process giving him all of her Regeneration (Artron) energy. He states (though not as plainly as I am about to) that she now will never be able to regenerate again. She gave him her lives.

    So, let’s say the Doctor never got extra regenerations during the Time War, he now has 9 or 10 more thanks to her. And what if he DID get more back then? What if William Hurt’s character isn’t 8 aged, or 9 (putting the new series Doctors one higher than we have been counting), but 10? Or even #2 of a second series granted for the War effort?

    We don’t know, and anything is possible. And that’s what I love most about this show – despite there being a “Canon” kind of, because it’s a Time Traveling show, there also isn’t really a Canon, and the show has re-written and contradicted itself so many times in its history that nothing is truly certain.

    That doesn’t excuse Moffat for his crap writing. I also dislike him and wish he would get the heck off the show already – he’s better writing one-offs and Sherlock Holmes, the show needs a new lead writer desperately. Retcon is only okay with me when done for a decent plot point and explained well and believably. He fails constantly on all points, and then there are other issues I have that have been mentioned here by others so I won’t bother. I wish he wasn’t writing the special…

    That said, I do hope that a way is somehow found to bring the Time Lords back. It’s past time for their return, and it’s not like the Daleks and Davros aren’t back already. It would be so much fun to have them back in the Whoniverse. =)

  • Gabe Bennett

    Wow! What a debate. People are getting pissed because Moffat is not PC. I think his writing is very creative and clever most of the time. I also think it’s stupid at times. But who cares. He’s one man. Is everyone going to agree with him? No. What a surprise, his writing is misogynistic. He’s a man! It’s his perspective as an artist. You can’t demand perfection from one human being. I think his concerns are more with the idea of time travel and its paradoxes and less with how his supporting characters are not quite PC. It seems the emotional connection between the Doctor and the cast around him is more important. Come on, it’s just simple story telling. I’d rather have more Doctor than no Doctor (even with imperfect writing).

  • Anonymous

    The Valeyard comes into being between the Twelfth and Thirteenth Doctors. The addition of John Hurt’s Doctor makes Matt Smith the Twelfth Doctor. If the 50th anniversary episode doesn’t feature the creation of the Valeyard, they’ll have screwed up the Doctor’s history in an irreparable manner. So help me God, they better not screw this up.

  • totz the plaid

    I can’t reply to http://www.themarysue.com/john-hurt-doctor-who-character/#comment-1024879355 yet because it’s awaiting moderation, but I’m not going to go back and re-type this later when it’s active, so here goes:

    Just because I don’t like those episodes, that doesn’t mean I don’t love Doctor Who.

    “The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances” was a masterpiece. “The Eleventh Hour” and “The Beast Below” were both great. “Midnight” was an awesome story, as was “The Waters of Mars”. I also LOVE the Classic Series on a whole (there are crap stories here and there in the classic run, but it’s still amazing).

    Being critical of something doesn’t mean you don’t like it.

    Actually, I think it’s the opposite. The more emotionally invested in a show/comic/whatever you are, the more likely you are to speak up when it produces crap.

    I have over 100 discs of Doctor Who on DVD.

    Yeah, I clearly hate the show. Right.

  • IpseCogita

    It’s not this, but it would be awesome if Capaldi had just been hired to be a smoke screen and John Hurt really is the 12th doctor…

    Not that I dislike Capaldi, I think he will be a fine doctor. I just like big, elaborate disinformation plots like that.

  • B. Smith

    Politically correct.

  • Anonymous

    I know that they will do a retcon or something to change the Doctor’s number of regenerations. But, I haven’t seen anyone mention the Colin Baker episode where he battled an evil 13th doctor. That should be canon, and specifies that the 13th and final doctor is evil. I guess that is totally ignored by everyone.

  • Gabe Bennett

    It’s been so long that I had to re-read this thread. You know, I must have been drunk when I wrote my original comment because if I’d thought about it a bit more I would have found that Mr. Moffat isn’t the least bit misogynistic. The entire issue has been mislabeled (even by me). If you take the literal meaning of misogyny – a hatred of women – I see no evidence in the case. What I do see is a rather narrow, juvenile and ignorant view of women. If it was clear that Moffat actually hated women, then I would join the boycott. People should really think more before they speak (or write), and I’m including myself in this. So, sorry about my earlier, idiotic comment.

  • Anonymous

    Are you being serious? It’s hard to tell in type.

    Opinion based in educated expertise is still an opinion. Not all opinions have equal worth, of course (I think an informed opinion is worth more than an uniformed one yes). But no amount of education can make one’s opinion into indisputable fact.

    Also, perhaps you forget that others here might have equal or greater expertise? The Mary Sue is an intelligent blog about media and pop culture; I’m sure many, many followers have qualifications in film and media subjects.